If instead of cycling to work I’d started cycling from Vancouver then I’d be here by now:
This is the stretch of road just inside the Manitoba border, near a town called Russell. It sits in an area known for its grain and cattle. But as you can see – there ain’t much going on.
But this spot marks 2000km from Vancouver. And today marks my 2000th kilometre since training began on January 1.
It was quite fitting that today I cycled my 2000th km on my way back from work. As indeed most of the distance (62% to be precise) has been gained pedalling to work.
Cycling to work doesn’t feel like ‘commuting’ in the regular (horrendous) sense of the word. Cycling to work is not a waste of time spent swearing at heavy traffic or waiting for a delayed train. I’m lucky because my cycle to work is a 18.4km off-road jaunt along the Sustrans Route 51. A route so fabulous it has it’s own guide.
My journey is a joy, a bliss, a wonder to behold. I’ve enjoyed seeing barn owls, badgers (live ones, not just road kill!) fieldfare and green woodpeckers. I’ve watched the sunrise and the sunset countless times and enjoyed watching the slowly shifting cloudscapes of the open skies.
I’ve cycled in rain, mist, fog, snow, and – very occasionally- sunshine. I’ve fought a 40mph gusting headwind and been blown home at record speed by an easterly so strong it felt like being on a conveyor belt.
My brakes froze solid in the cold and my front derellaier has refused to budge since. I’ve soiled the office shower with muck and sand, and hung up my socks and thermals to dry on the radiator. I’ve nodded good morning at the same hi vis orange woman every morning and said hello to a hi vis yellow man on the way back.
I’ve burrowed through deepest, darkest winter with a bike light that dazzles the sun. I’ve cycled through winter. And I’ve survived.
Now spring has sprung and I’m fitter than ever. Which is just as well – as I’ve only just crossed into Manitoba. And next month instead of cycling to work I’ll be starting again in Vancouver.